05-11-2017 Sun shines on Grand Floral Parade; Hartford and Watervliet win float awards; Coloma commi

Sun shines on Grand Floral Parade; Hartford and Watervliet win float awards

By Annette Christie

The 2017 Blossomtime Grand Floral Parade participants faced some chilly winds but the sun shined and there was no rain or snow at the annual event held Saturday afternoon.

HARTFORD’S FLOAT… Board of Director’s Award winner was the community of Hartford with the theme “Bug’s Life.” Featured on the float are: Miss Hartford’s First runner-up Makayla Robinson, and Second runner-up and Miss Congeniali-ty Jessica Rosales, Mr. Hartford’s Second runner-up Garrett Brandt, Little Mr. Hartford Bryson Prillwitz, his First run-ner-up Garrison Snodgrass, Little Miss Hartford Lily Goodson, her First runner-up Kinsley Kronewetter, Miss Junior Teen Hartford Lindsey Goodson, her First runner-up Addison Voss, Miss Teen Hartford Regan Sin-clair, and her First runner-up Catera Hawley. Missing from the float are Miss Hartford Mariel Hallgren, Mr. Hartford and Mr. Blossomtime Hunter Ackerman, his First runner-up Jake Griffith, and Mr. Nice Guy Ricky Austin. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)


This year marked the 111th year for the event which draws thousands of people from all over Southwest Michigan and afar.  It is the crown jewel of the Blossomtime Festival, the area’s oldest and largest multi-community festival in the State of Michigan.  The parade contained 114 units.

2017 BLOSSOMTIME FLOAT… leads the Grand Floral Parade featuring: Miss Blossomtime Kaylee Chapin of Watervliet and her court, first runner-up McKenna Smith of Bridgman, Second runner-up Katelyn Boyer of Edwardsburg, and Miss Congeniality Devin Gray of Lawrence. First runner-up to Mr. Blossomtime, Dylan Catalano of Buchanan, Second runner-up Nicholas Case of St. Joseph, and Mr. Nice Guy Jonathon Burton of Baroda. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)


This year’s parade featured Miss Blossomtime Kaylee Chapin of Watervliet.  Mr. Blossomtime Hunter Ackerman of Hartford was not present for the event.

The community of Hartford won the Board of Director’s Award for their float themed “Bug’s Life.” The award is presented for the third most outstanding float concept and artistic merit of theme, color, animation, beauty and floral display.

The community of Watervliet won the Twin Cities’ Award for their float themed “Backyard BBQ.” The award is given for the float exhibiting excellence with the outstanding use, display and floral craftsmanship of live flowers and blossoms.

The remainder of the float winners was as follows:

Sweepstakes Award for outstanding float concept and artistic merit of theme, creativity, color animation, beauty and floral display: Berrien Springs

President’s Award for second most outstanding float concept and artistic merit of theme, creativity, color animation, beauty and floral display: Bridgman. The community of Bridgman also won the King’s Award for the best tow unit.

Mayor’s Award for the float exhibiting excellence in presenting the festival theme: Three Oaks/River Valley

Queen’s Award for the float exhibiting excellence in beauty and dramatic impact: Stevensville

COLOMA’S FLOAT… The community of Coloma’s float was the “Beach Patrol” theme. The float featured: Miss Coloma and Miss Congeniality Cassidy Fickett, First runner-up Jenna Walter, Second runner-up Harleigh Unger; Mr. Coloma Jacob Sharpe, First runner-up Grant Kroschel, Second runner-up and Mr. Nice Guy Zack Heater, Glad-Peach Prince Ross Smothers, and Glad-Peach Princess Raeghan Prestidge. The float also featured “Jimmy the Turtle.” (TCR photo by Annette Christie)


Chairman’s Award for the float exhibiting excellence in creativity and impressive use of animation and movement, both live and mechanical: Eau Claire/Sodus

Parade Committee’s Award for the float exhibiting excellence in the presentation and use of color and color harmony: St. Joseph

WATERVLIET’S FLOAT… Miss Watervliet and Miss Blossomtime Kaylee Chapin stopped by her community float prior to the start of the Grand Floral Parade and just after learning that the community won the Twin Cities’ Award. The float themed, “Backyard BBQ” was honored for its use of live flowers and blossoms. The float featured: First runner-up Katie Schultz, Second runner-up Mercede Daugherty; Miss Congeniality Maggie Lynch; Co-Mr. Watervliet Brent Simmons and Haydon Richards, First runner-up to Miss Fire-cracker Lilyahna Collins; Mr. Firecracker Braydon Collins; and Miss Firecracker Caroline Weber. (TCR photo by Annette Chris-tie)


The overall theme was “If it Begins with a B, It must be Blossomtime.”

Glad-Peach 50th Anniversary Gladiola Contest

 The 2017 Glad-Peach Festival Committee will bring back the Gladiola Contest. The contest will have amateur and professional levels and a few different categories.

Amateur contestants will be judged on height, beauty, arrangement (one dozen). Professional contestants will be judged on most unique glad, beauty, and arrangement (2-3 dozen).

Contestants must be signed up no later than August 1 and judging will take place August 3, 6:00 p.m. at Coloma City Hall. Prizes will be awarded and entry will be used during the festival for decoration. Contestants may pick up their entry Sunday after the festival closes.

Now is the time! Your Gladiola bulbs should be in the ground after there is no chance for frost. If you want to join in the contest you must plant your bulbs in the next two weeks.

Thank you De Groots!!! De Groots has donated 5,000 bulbs to the city to distribute in an effort to beautify the community with gladiolas. Stop in and pick up your FREE supply (while they last) and entry form for the contest from City Hall. A group of volunteers will go door-to-door along the main street from I-94 to Mattson’s House of Decor and offer to plant the bulbs for residents.

Coloma commissioner seeks volunteers to help plant 5,000 glad bulbs

By Christina Gelder

Commissioner Kent Churchill made a request for volunteers at the Monday, May 8 meeting of the Coloma City Commission. He said that DeGroot Inc. has donated 5,000 gladiolus bulbs and he is taking on the task of getting them planted around the city in various parks. He will be working on the project in the afternoon and evening hours during the week as well as on Saturday.

A plan was made for anyone interested in helping on Saturday, May 13 to meet at 10:00 a.m. at Coloma City Hall. If anyone would like to volunteer during another time they can call City Hall for details. It is Commissioner Churchill’s hope that they will be in full bloom during the 50th Annual Glad-Peach Festival in August.

Storm drain issue

A bid was accepted for $18,116.80 to hire Insituform Technologies USA, Inc. to deal with a storm drain issue in Timberbrook Terrace. There is a drain on Timber Drive that has a backflow problem causing water to back up into a home there on occasion.

The company referenced will be using a lining that will thicken and coat the existing pipe to eliminate the issue. This would be in lieu of digging up and replacing the entire pipe.

Neighbor dispute over grass clippings

A very frustrated Tony Postelli of Pearl Street was in attendance at the Monday night meeting with frustrations over a visit from the Coloma Township Police Ordinance Officer. It seems that the other day when he was mowing his lawn his neighbor called the police because he had blown some grass clippings into the street.

Postelli, who has had problems with the same neighbor in the past, said that he felt it was a waste of money to have officers responding to such complaints. He read the ordinance and maintained that he was not causing any danger to anyone. He did clear the street when asked to but came to the city commission because he thinks it is ridiculous that every time his neighbor picks up the phone someone comes out.

Police Chief Jason Roe verified that he was familiar with the situation and that beyond the ordinance it is illegal in the State of Michigan to put anything in the street at all, grass clipping or otherwise. He also said that the police do not get to choose to whom they respond, they are morally and legally obligated to serve everyone. His advice was to make sure you mow in a way that blows away from the street.

In other news, a resolution was approved to apply for a state grant to purchase new voting equipment. It was also approved to spend $4,331 to buy new banners for the light poles through town. The cost includes brackets needed for 17 poles and 37 double-sided banners. Good news on the St. Joseph Street project; they are hoping to have the street paved and open by the end of the week.

IN THEIR HONOR… Hartford High School seniors Mariel Hallgren, Miss Hartford 2017, and Hunter Ackerman, Mr. Hartford/Mr. Blossomtime 2017 attended a luncheon on May 4 at His Place Outreach Center held in honor of this year’s Hartford Royal Court. Miss Hallgren was chosen from a pool of six contestants and Mr. Ackerman chosen from a pool of five. Both underwent multiple interviews as part of the selection process. Mariel plans to major in Visual Arts with an emphasis on graphic design at Southwestern Michigan College and has chosen a career as a movie set designer. Hunter has attended the Van Buren Technical Center for the last 13 years and plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College following graduation from Hartford High School. He will then attend Grand Valley State University to earn a degree in Bio-Medical Science. He plans to finish his education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor. (TCR photo by Nancy Albright)


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